Circular No. 590 /27/2001-CX
15th October, 2001.

F. No. 93/2/2001-CX.3
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise and Customs

Subject: Classification of “Printing Ink Medium” under sub-heading No. 3215.00 or 3208.90 or Sub-heading No. 3909.59 – regarding.

I am directed to say that a doubt has arisen regarding classification of “reducing mediums” for printing inks. The Department had classified the mediums as printing ink under sub-heading 3215.00. The view of the Audit is that it should have been classified as synthetic resin under sub-heading 3208.90.

2.  The matter has been examined in the Board. The CEGAT in their judgment dated 2.2.1996 reported in 1996(83) ELT 451 in the case of M/s Rainbow Ink and Varnish Mfg. Company Ltd. held that the printing ink medium is different from printing ink and have classified the printing ink medium under sub-heading 3909.59 as a variety of phenolic resin and not under heading 3208.90 as contended by Audit. Printing inks as illustrated under Note “A” of HSN Notes 32.15 are obtained by mixing a firmly divided pigment with a vehicle. The vehicle consists of either natural resins or synthetic polymers, dispersed in oils or dissolved in solvents and contains a small quantity of additives to impart desired functional properties. It, therefore, indicates a clear distinction between a vehicle which acts as a medium for ink and printing ink as such.

3.  CEGAT’s judgment in the case of M/s. Rainbow Ink and Varnish Mfg. Co. classifying “Printing Ink Medium” under sub-heading 3909.59 has been accepted by the Department. Accordingly, it is clarified that the product would be appropriately classifiable under sub-heading 3909.59 of Central Excise Tariff.

4.  Trade and field formations may be suitably informed.

5.  Receipt of this Circular may be acknowledged.

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